I brought the wagon home this past weekend. Amazingly with a new battery & some gas it fired up and drove out ofthe yard it was sitting in Brakes/transmission/engine all seem to work (I’m still going to go through them all). The engine runs rough and does seem to have some kind of valve issue, but it runs better than I was lead to believe
Once we had it on the trailer & strapped down I used some waterproofing tape(butyl back aluminum) to seal the roof holes for now to at least stop moisture getting in. Then it was back home with one stop to fill the tank on the wagon and another to spend $10 at a car wash powerwashing as much of the grime of the exterior & engine bay as possible.
Once home and unloaded we started cleaning it up. The seats & door cards had a massive amount of black mold on them, but bleach and scrubbing did amazing things for the seats as you can see in the half-done shot to the right. The backs of the door cards have rotted cardboard, so a winter project is going to be to try and peel off the vinyl and glue it to new backers.
The insides of the door were amazingly rust free, and will only need some minor cleanup & a few coats of Materseries to keep them looking good. The car has an old “Rusty” rustproofing sticker so maybe that is why the doors survived so well. I found some small rust pinholes in the cargo floor & spare tire well, but they should be pretty simple to weld in patches.
After bleaching & scrubbing the seats look quite presentable and I am really happy with them. I tossed the armrests as they were all some combination of stained, moldy & torn; I do have a decent set of red ones that will work for now. Once I get a new filter for my shop vac the interior will get a vacuuming, and I’ll start pulling out the old rubber mat in the back footwell. Unfortunately the power tailgate seems to be DOA, and it would require a bunch of dis-assembly to diagnose so I’m probably going to hold off on dealing with it until the spring.
In addition to the cleaning I got some small jobs done on the car(new exhaust donut gasket, new radiator cap, running some seafoam through the motor, seal tears/cracks in old 1/4 glass & windshield gaskets with RTV). I’m starting to make lists of what the car needs so I can better plan my strategy. Amazingly it runs and drives well enough that I’ve taken it on a few short drives. The next few weeks are going to be skimpy on free time to work on the wagon, but I have a backlog of car shopping posts to finish anyway.